Pretoria duo Zander Lombard and Jason Smith pulled out all the stops in the final round of the 29thWorld Amateur Team Championships in Japan to secure a top 45 finish for South Africa in the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy on Saturday.
Playing for pride and position, British Amateur finalist Lombard carved out a one-under-par 71 and reigning SA Stroke Play champion Smith matched his target at the Iriyama Course.
Their combined final round two-under-par 142 took the team tally to one-over-par 573 and secured 43rd place for South Africa in the final standings at Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club.
Lombard struggled over the first nine holes and turned in two over after a double bogey at the par-four 16th. The TuksGolf Club and Academy member was faultless over the last nine holes, though, and racked up birdies at the first, fourth and eighth holes to finish one under.
Smith opened with a birdie at the 10th and eagled the par-five 11th, but wiped out his advantage with a bogey at the 12th and a double bogey at the par-three 14th. He dropped another shot at the second, but stemmed the bleeding with birdies at the third and fifth holes.
Western Province’s Gerlou Roux turned in two over, but rallied with two birdies to offset a pair of bogeys down the home stretch to sign for a non-counting 74.
“It was a case of too little, too late,” said national coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen.
“Although they all played well in the final round, we didn’t have a great start and we failed to take advantage of the scoring nine at the Oshitate Course in the second and third rounds.
“The guys played their hearts out, though, and they were great ambassadors for South Africa, professional on and off the course.
“They all learned some valuable lessons here this week, which will serve them well in the future.”
Meanwhile Denny McCarthy, Bryson DeChambeau and Beau Hossler mounted a successful title defence for the United States. The trio combined with rounds of 136, 133, 128 and 137 to romp home to a two shot victory over Canada on a winning score of 38-under-par 534.
Jon Rahm from Spain topped the Individual Standings on 23-under-par 263 with rounds of 70, 64, 62 and 67 while Lombard tied for 60th on five-under-par 281 in the 200-strong field.
The Woodhill golfer carded rounds of 68, 71, 74 and 71 to finish 31 spots better than his tie for 91st in his debut at the 2012 WATC in Turkey.
Smith shared 123rd spot on eight over 294 with rounds of 78, 71, 74 and 71 and Roux tied for 139th on 14-over-par 300 with rounds of 76, 73, 77 and 74.
TOP 10 FINAL RESULT
(Note: Scores are listed with relation to par due to the difference in par on the two golf courses)
OC = par-71, 7,010-yard/6,406-meter Oshitate Course
IC = par-72, 7,008-yard/6,405-meter Iriyama Course at Karuizawa 72 Golf East.
534 (-38) United States of America 136 IC-133 OC-128 OC-137 IC
536 (-36) Canada 134 IC-136 OC-133 OC-133 IC
537 (-35) Spain 138 IC-133 OC-132 OC-134 IC
538 (-34) Sweden 134 IC-135 OC-131 OC-138 IC
539 (-33) Argentina 135 IC-133 OC-136 OC-135 IC
540 (-32) Australia 137 OC-136 IC-132 OC-135 IC; England 136 IC-135 OC-137 OC-132 IC; France 140 IC-134 OC-135 OC-131 IC
542 (-30) Scotland 138 IC-133 OC-138 OC-133 IC
544 (-28) Switzerland 134 IC-135 OC-140 OC-135 IC
573 (+1) South Africa 144 IC-142 OC-145 OC-142 IC